Few things are scarier than sharing the road with a massive tractor-trailer. Fortunately, most encounters between large trucks and small passenger vehicles proceed safely, with no one getting hurt.
Other times, however, the worst can happen, and you or someone you love suffers harm in a collision with a nearby commercial vehicle. Any accident can result in injuries, but underride crashes are often more dangerous than other truck accidents.
What is an underride accident?
It is a type of collision that causes the smaller vehicle to continue traveling underneath the rear or side of the larger vehicle upon impact. For example, if the truck suddenly brakes or slows, other drivers might not have sufficient time to stop before riding under the truck.
Underride accidents are particularly dangerous because they can affect the upper body, often resulting in traumatic brain injury or death.
How common are underride truck accidents?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that almost 490 traffic deaths in 2021 involved side underride accidents. At the same time, the IIHS believes that agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) underestimate the true number of underride deaths.
It is safe to assume underrides occur frequently enough that extra vigilance is wise when sharing the road with large commercial trucks.
Who is liable for accidents and injuries?
Determining who is liable for injuries suffered in an underride accident can be complicated. There could be multiple responsible parties (the trucker, the trucking company and others), each with a different share of liability. Identifying all responsible parties helps ensure you walk away with the maximum compensation allowable under New Mexico law.